I mentioned in social media that I broke the screen of my Samsung Note phone while ringing the New Year. I went to an AT&T store to get a new phone (with a new 2 year contract -- I am eligible for an upgrade) but I was told that I will be losing my grandfathered Unlimited data to get a new phone through them. I wanted to mention that I have been with AT&T for almost 13 years so I was disappointed that it ended that way. They want to charge me almost $80-90/month for the new plan which doesn't even include the price of the phone. I took that as my sign to find a better service with a much better price.
To give you an idea what type of provider I need: I am not a talker and texter and we use the data plan primarily when our little one wants to watch movie on a drive longer than an hour or so. My phone is always connected to WiFi both at home and at work which is where I am most of the time. My simple wish list is to have:
- a phone with much way better camera (most important)
- flexibility for our travels especially overseas
- price that's lower than what AT&T has to offer
I did my research and was down to two contenders: T-Mobile and Google Fi. I was eyeing the Samsung Edge 6 for the former and the Nexus 6P for the latter. Both providers have the first two on my list with Fi having additional advantage as it taps into the Sprint network ; has internal VPN for public WiFi and with it giving me a better estimated monthly bill and so I went with that. 🙂
Where and how did I start?
Project Fi is
still currently on an invite mode now open for everybody. Minimally, you will need a Gmail account to get started. Here's the invite link. Once I got my invitation, it was just a matter of selecting the device -- currently Fi works with the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P as below as well as the Nexus 6 -- I went with a Matte Gold 6P.
Let's start with the phone...
Nexus 6P is, no doubt, beautiful. If placed side by side with a 'black' iPhone 6s+, you will probably won't know the difference until you pick it up. My only wish is that the front of it to be matte gold, too. It's intuitive and fast and has the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and there's no existence of bloatware at all. I don't want to mention it but I hated my Samsung Note as it wasn't able to produce decent enough images that I can use for blogging. But with this phone, I am beyond ecstatic with the quality of images it produces, let me show you some of them:There are lens blur and photosphere settings but I haven't managed play around with it. I am very much sold on this phone but if you are considering buying it, a much technical and detailed review of the phone can be found here. Wishlist item 1, ✓.
International UsageOne of main reasons that got me convinced with Fi is that you can send unlimited text, make low-cost calls and data (charged at the same rate as domestic data) internationally. We travel quite a lot and this came very handy when we were in Mexico and there's no wifi around. It also eliminated the need to buy a local SIM card which is a huge plus in my opinion. Wishlist item 2, ✓. The list of countries can be found here.
And then the Fi and the bill...
The Fi plan is very simple and straightforward, $20/month for the Fi Basics plan (unlimited voice calls and text) and then $10 per GB used. I allocated 2GB - giving me a minute monthly bill of $40. For the first month, I actually turned the data off which eliminated my urges to look at my phone while driving (again, I am on wifi at home and work) -- they paid me back for the data that I didn't use. WIN!
Here's the simple bill which included usage from when we were in Mexico. -- this can be accessed through the web or through your Project Fi app on your phone. No paper bill option.Anyway, if I remain conservative and conscious with my phone usage (hello, hands-free mama), we will be saving money in the end. Wishlist item 3, ✓
There are still lots of technical details as well as features that I didn't even tackle but those features that matter to me where exceedingly met so yes, I do recommend both the phone and the Fi service from Google. Shoot me an email if you have any questions.
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